Behind terror attack, a reborn jihad empire

Parvez Musharraf, found himself forced into an increasingly bloody showdown with the Jaish’s constituent units.

Written by Praveen Swami | New Delhi | Updated: January 3, 2016 11:49 am
Jaish e Muhammad, Jaish e Muhammad headquaters, Jaish e Muhammad bahawalpur, Jaish e Muhammad pakistan, Jihadists, parvez musharraf, Indian intelligence, Masood Azhar, india latest news The recruits being trained at the Bahawalpur seminary as well as bases in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has, however, become a growing concern for India’s security services.

“To Delhi, O’ Hindus, the army of the Prophet will soon return,” reads a giant mural over the entrance of the Jaish-e-Muhammad’s headquarters at Bahawalpur, in Pakistan’s Punjab province. Inside the building, there is a swimming pool, stables, training grounds and accommodation for hundreds of students.

Ever since 2014, Masood Azhar — imprisoned by Pakistan’s intelligence services after his cadre were found to be involved in an attack on former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf — has slowly reemerged on the jihadist stage.

Indian intelligence officials have said the organisation was responsible for Saturday’s strike on an Indian Air Force base — its first major operation in India since an abortive 2005 strike on a makeshift temple in the Babri Masjid complex.

READ | Pathankot terror attack strikes at heart of PM Modi’s Pakistan peacemaking 

The recruits being trained at the Bahawalpur seminary as well as bases in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has, however, become a growing concern for India’s security services. Long before the Pathankot attack, the Jaish had carried out multiple strikes in Kashmir, and had promised more in videos and propaganda articles posted online.

In his book Fathul Jawwad, Azhar wrote: “The life of nations depends on martyrs. The national fields can be irrigated only with the blood of the best hearts and minds.”

READ |  Punjab again: Second attack in six months

Formed in January 2000, soon after Azhar was let out of an Indian jail in a hostages-for-prisoners swap, the Jaish was intended to unite a welter of jihadist groups which had been fighting in J&K as well as in Afghanistan. It was endorsed by a cross-section of jihadist clerics representing the Deobandi clerical tradition in Pakistan.

In 2000, Azhar’s newly formed group staged the first suicide-bombing in Kashmir, killing nine.

Azhar imposed himself on India’s consciousness again in 2001, ordering an attack on Parliament House in New Delhi. The strike took India and Pakistan to the brink of war.

In the wake of 9/11, though, the Jaish came under enormous stress. Musharraf, found himself forced into an increasingly bloody showdown with the Jaish’s constituent units. In late 2001, Maulana Abdul Jabbar, the Jaish’s overall military commander, began pushing for attacks on western targets in Pakistan, leading to a split with Azhar.

Many young jihadists also broke ranks with the Jaish to join more radical al-Qaeda-linked groups.

From 2003, matters came to a head as breakaway Jaish operatives were found to be involved in attacks on Musharraf himself. Later, elements of the group were involved in the July 2007 stand-off between the army and jihadists who had occupied the Lal Masjid in Islamabad.

In the wake of these events, former ISI chief Lieutenant-General Javed Ashraf Qazi candidly told Pakistan’s Parliament that it “must not be afraid of admitting that the Jaish was involved in the deaths of thousands of innocent Kashmiris (and) bombing the Indian Parliament”.

Azhar’s decision to stand with the Pakistani state at this moment cost him legitimacy as a jihadist leader. Pressure from the West also worked to push Azhar into hibernation.

From 2013, though, the ISI again began to cultivate Azhar, in an effort to use pro-government jihadists as a counterweight to anti-Pakistan jihadists. He found a ready pool of cadre in southern Punjab. “Having no alternative ideology like Marxism or Liberalism which may challenge the feudal stranglehold, Deobandi militancy remains one of the few ways to counter it,” said social scientist Tahir Kamran.

The second coming of Azhar, the Pathankot strike shows, could provoke a crisis no less significant than those he sparked off in 1999 and 2001.

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  1. S
    Sirius
    Jan 3, 2016 at 3:58 am
    In Delhi-NCR, there is a sudden increase in number of fruit-sellers on cart. They are young and well built , sometimes well dressed, often in groups, chatting away and show little interest in selling their stuff. If you engage with them as a buyer, you become aware of their community and their dialect of speaking. I fear that these persons are part of "sleeper cells" , awaiting activation for appropriate mission(s). I hope the police have them in their radar, and are photographing /profiling them.
    Reply
    1. I
      IndianWellWisher
      Jan 4, 2016 at 1:43 am
      Excellent observation.
      Reply
      1. मनीष
        Jan 4, 2016 at 12:27 am
        Every time when India is terrorized by stanis, Indian Muslims have provided support to those stani terrorists. Enough is enough. Excluding the SICKulars, any Indian who wants to contribute to the war against terrorism in India, should stop buying things made in an Islamic country and stop doing business with a Muzzie owned store/business. You have to act and do your duty as well!
        Reply
        1. मनीष
          Jan 3, 2016 at 4:39 am
          Every time when India is terrorized by stanis, Indian Muslims have provided support to those stani terrorists. Enough is enough. Excluding the SICKulars, any one in India wants to contribute to this war against terrorism in India, should stop buying things made in an Islamic country and stop doing business with a Muzzie owned store/business.
          Reply
          1. R
            Romik
            Jan 4, 2016 at 3:18 am
            The time to end this extreme behavior has come. Wait and watch... Relax take a deep breath... let the professionals do their job.
            Reply
            1. A
              A Patel
              Jan 3, 2016 at 5:37 pm
              No seculars like SRK, Amir Khan, Barkha are condemning this attack.
              Reply
              1. B
                Balagopal
                Jan 3, 2016 at 6:46 am
                The ease with which terrorists from stan sneak into the country and carry out attacks portrays India as a 'soft state' to the world. Look at Israel which is surrounded by rogue states sponsoring terrorist squads. Israel frequently confronts terrorists and fiercely retaliates inflicting heavy human and material casualities to them. Why can't Indian armed forces and police learn from them and emulate them. Since Congress party is not in power in center or in big states, it should be easy to convince the leadership to invest more in training and equipment to neutralize terrorism from across the border or from domestic sympathisers.
                Reply
                1. c
                  countk99
                  Jan 3, 2016 at 6:05 am
                  Where are the critics of Intolerance sickular people? why are they not coming out now? Where is Aamir khan? seems he does't care when India is attacked by terrorists? Why would a traitor responded to terrorists attack!! its understandable. What happened to Shah Rukh khan and Tagore's? Why their mouths are shut now? why they are not speaking out on stan?
                  Reply
                  1. H
                    Harry Who
                    Jan 3, 2016 at 1:43 am
                    In early 20th century, General Black Jack (JJ) Pershing of US army was fighting Moro terrorists on Island of Jolo in southern Philipines. He buried the terrorists with pig entrails so that the terrorists could not go to Jannat and enjoy 72 houris. These actions stopped terrorist activity for long time as true muslims did not want to be buried with pigs. These days we hear often that terrorists have no religion. All mullahs and our bollywood Khans have repeatedly made such statements. So bury these terrorists with pig entrails so that the muslims do not leave their religion of peace and become terrorists. Also the anti-nationals in India who oppose this practise get exposed. I believe that this particular attack was Sukhbir Badal's brother-in-law Majethia's drug deal gone wrong. The SP in plain clothes was double crossing these terrorists in the drug deal and they got angry. They cannot be that stupid that a common man rides a blue siren vehicle. Also they had not planned an attack on IAF base because if they wanted to damage the aircrafts they would have not entered through the residential section of the base.
                    Reply
                    1. H
                      Harry
                      Jan 3, 2016 at 11:03 pm
                      The difference is Israel has one thing that India lacks. Absence of large number of stupid secularist Hindus.
                      Reply
                      1. T
                        tyhj
                        Jan 3, 2016 at 2:38 am
                        A very Sincere suggestion to Mr Nawaz Sherif , Prime Minister of stan. Allow the Indian Army to Flush out Terrorist from your Land. Our Army can do it. You have admitted that controlling and Neutralising Terrorism is out of your Control. We can free you from the Devil which you have specially created to destroy India but in the process your Devil has grown more than you thought. Our PM Modi had made a great Statement during the General elections in the year 2014 and that is " Sab ka saat Sab Ka Vikas". Therefore take our Suggestion very Seriously as our Armed forces can not only Neutralize Terrorism but can ensure smooth process for Good Governance and Development for People of stan, which they are completely unaware. So Respected Sir all you have to is call up our PM Modi and ask for help to Neutralize Terrorism which was cherished and Nurtured by Respective government in your country.
                        Reply
                        1. D
                          Das
                          Jan 5, 2016 at 12:29 pm
                          "Sidharatha Dhar" on converting to religion of peace becomes genocidal killer. It says it all, and has lesson for "liberal" Hindus. If you do not teach your children evil of the religion in question and they will suffer and make humanity suffer!
                          Reply
                          1. D
                            Das
                            Jan 5, 2016 at 12:34 pm
                            No doubt likes of Arunadhati Roy and her pinky supporters well underhand these groups and "fascist" Hindus who oppose them.
                            Reply
                            1. H
                              H.Balakrishnan
                              Jan 3, 2016 at 4:00 am
                              Sir, Every Indian MUST READ Prof. Christine Fair's thesis : " Fighting to the End : The stan Army's Way of War " . After the First reading, re-read it. And then repeat the process at convenience. Every word written in the book comes true against the backdrop of Pathankot. Until the day dawns when India develops the necessary 'spine and spunk' to give it back to stan in kind after every terror attack, I'm afraid we'll keep wasting tons of newsprint with hand wringing and analyses that are of NO USE. Period. As Swami Chinmayananda wrote in his "Dharma Himsa Tathaiva Cha " : " The average Indian has been moulded into a particular national mentality of quixotic tolerance. His atude is shaped into its distinct pattern by the ideologies and moralities preached in our national literature. And no single work in our clics has gained such a wide influence on our people as the Bhagawad Gita: and in, this century, no other single message had such a universal appeal to our countrymen as the single line, "Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah" -- "Non - Violence is the greatest Dharma." This line in its over – emphasis, has sapped both initiative and energy in our millions, and, instead of making us all irresistible moral giants, we have been reduced to poltroons and cowards. Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah. This is the opening line of a stanza, and the very next line reads: Dharma himsaa tathaiva cha. “So too is all righteous violence.” Indeed, non – violence is the supreme policy to be adopted by man to foster enduring peace in the world; but there are certain dire moments in the life of individuals, as of nations, when we will have to meet force with force in order that justice be done." I rest my case. rEGARDS
                              Reply
                              1. हेमकांत
                                Jan 3, 2016 at 4:42 am
                                Some how India needs to expose the stani army and project it as terrorist backing machinery at international level, declaring it incompetent to fight war against terrorists. This then will lead to many alternatives to contain it.
                                Reply
                                1. J
                                  jai
                                  Jan 3, 2016 at 7:23 pm
                                  stan should have a blood bath between isi jihadists and the taliban jihadists. not in the name of god but in the name of dog!
                                  Reply
                                  1. J
                                    jay
                                    Jan 3, 2016 at 5:20 pm
                                    Sad at the avoidable loss of life. We should never ever let down our guard.stan is NEVER to be trusted.,as has been proved time and again.
                                    Reply
                                    1. K
                                      kulaputra kulaputra
                                      Jan 3, 2016 at 7:21 am
                                      I do not hear much from all the vicious Hindu bashing Muslims today. Where have they disappeared - Sunday is not their holiday anyway ?
                                      Reply
                                      1. K
                                        kulaputra kulaputra
                                        Jan 3, 2016 at 7:20 am
                                        Police beware -kindly start profiling those who suddenly appear. We have enough problems with those that already exist.
                                        Reply
                                        1. M
                                          Me Marathi
                                          Jan 3, 2016 at 6:11 am
                                          Islamic terrorism is at nadir around the globe. High time to quarantine them all in a desert and nuke them.
                                          Reply
                                          1. M
                                            Me Marathi
                                            Jan 3, 2016 at 6:11 am
                                            They are porki islamic b@stard jihadis and will only back stab.
                                            Reply
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